Has the logo had its day?

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Last week our Managing Director Patrick Guerrera was featured on Mumbrella discussing the future of the humble logo and corporate guidelines. And whether clients should be less concerned about corporate logos and more focussed on the multiple touchpoints they need to service. The whole article is below:

In a world where personal brands, social media and an absolute plethora of content stretches into every waking moment of our lives, what role does a logo play in contemporary branding?

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There are simple answers: the ongoing interdependence between corporate reputation and corporate brand is always a consideration. The logo is the trust mark that symbolises the heritage and history of an organisation and its people to all their stakeholders, not just their customers. This symbol is a living artefact and signature of the organisation, its past and all its aspirations.

But brands have never been more dynamic – they are moving and evolving before our eyes everyday. Channel-agnostic brand platforms are built and designed to stretch across a multitude of touch points and expressions – eagerly focused on delivering a truly differentiated “experience” for consumers, anytime and anywhere.

So yes, an organisation’s logo or brand mark will continue to be the final distillation of all the brand’s attributes – the “signature” of a brand.

Why? Because in contemporary marketing logos are the ultimate corporate arrogance. As millennials take their place as the great arbiters and influencers of consumer preference and sentiment, they are judging and shaping brands in real time. They embrace brands that are active and meaningful to them. By meaningful I mean enabling – helping them shape their future state.

So brands can no longer afford to be overtly single-minded. They must be able to engage and sustain a whole range of different customer relationships. In a recent Harvard Business Review article Avery, Fournier & Wittenbraker (2014) introduce the challenge of relational intelligence to readers, suggesting companies “don’t understand how many different kinds of relationships customers can have with brands, nor do they know how to reinforce or change those connections”.

For us at Re we found this incredibly relevant and interesting because it echoes the challenges our clients face everyday. Apart from the ongoing repercussions of the shared economy on branding, we believe the construct of relational intelligence, is a significant lens to consider when embarking on any type of rebranding program. Sure, it is the intersection of CRM and brand, but this is what makes it so interesting.

Avery, Fournier & Wittenbraker (HBR, 2014) outline 6 types of brand-customer relationships:

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Each are illustrated with some poignant examples, such as:

“A team of Harley-Davidson employees, all motorcycle enthusiasts, spent time on the road with customers to develop the kind of intimacy that could cement Harley’s status as a best friend.”

As brand practitioners, the danger here is not to over-simplify these insights as just simple communications tasks – that is, just targeting communications to different relational typologies. This is about ensuring that the brand strategy and its expression is flexible and broad enough, to connect and support the expectations of any of these typologies. This provides a significant lens for attribution definition as well as brand design, experience and communication.

So maybe it’s not just the logo that is dead, maybe it’s the traditional corporate brand systems that are often governed within an inch of their lives?

So is the logo really dead? Well no. We will always use logo’s because they are the ultimate identifier of an organisation.

However, singular static corporate brand systems are now irrelevant. What replaces them is dynamic and living design systems that can flex and stretch and build experiences across a broad range of customer typologies and channels.

This is why life in a branding agency has never been more exciting – we are constantly evolving and revitalizing the brands we create to ensure they are constantly compelling and relevant to the consumer. So the logo might be here to stay … but the corporate guideline document should go the way of the Dodo!

AGDA Biennale 2014

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What do you get if you mix 10 designers, three nights in Hobart and an awards show? An amazing weekend…or a misguided cake recipe. You choose.

This year the Australian Design Biennale was held in Tasmania, bringing designers from far and wide to the beautiful city of Hobart. The weekend long event of talks, trips to MONA and drinks culminated in the AGDA Design Awards held at Peppermint Bay, a 45 minute ferry trip away.

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With 13 nominations across several categories, we felt it only right to send a few of our hard working folk away for the weekend to sample the Tasmanian lifestyle. The awards night didn’t disappoint. We picked up 3 Distinctions, two for Shanghai Biennale in Brochure and Poster design and another for Writing for Design for Optus. Even better, we received a Pinnacle for our Steve Li business cards. A fantastic way to end our weekend.

Thanks to AGDA for a great weekend and congratulations to all the other winners.

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Create awards

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Last week we attended the Desktop Magazine Create Awards. These annual awards celebrate some of Australia’s best work across numerous categories.

Our Managing Director Patrick Guerrera and designer Alex Creamer took the trip down to Melbs to represent RE and hopefully come back with a bit of metal.

And by jove we did! Our work for the IAG Reconciliation Action Plan picked up Best Commercial Print Job, and our Optus rebrand was awarded Best Brand Identity and even better Project of the Year. Our expectations and baggage allowance were certainly exceeded.

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Re_CreateAwardsThe Project of the Year award was given to us by the talented Andrew Ashton who had these kind words to say about the project.

“I have been asked by the niche team to introduce the Create the project of the year, I also want say a few words about the judging.

A few years from now you may be inclined to understand the communication design work made locally and you will realise, as I have, that Australia offers it’s communication designers and artists few spaces to showcase work that is of a time. Thank you to Niche and Desktop for being one of the few.

I have been lucky enough to have served on many awards panels, very few I walked away feeling uplifted. I must credit this spirit of curiosity, quality, rigour with a dash of generosity to my fellow panelists Michaela Webb from Round studios, Anita Riley from Seasaw and Che Douglas to be something great in New York.

Whether your project is tonight’s overall winner, or a finalist, in my opinion all the work and efforts recognised are special and worthy of being a part of history.

Congratulations to all the selected projects, your delivery beyond the brief is clear.

Now for project of the year.

This project was selected because of it’s special collaboration between client and studio. A special client (one of Australia’s most visible companies) developed a unique a brand identity brief, which truly showcases the potential that great design communication can offer by connecting with one of Australia’s biggest and diverse audiences. A studio who responded with a comprehensive creative package – from the fun and detailed custom font, to the desirable and distinctive mascot to be skinned on trams in Melbourne, corporate reports, phone bills to retail shopping bags. This project and process allowed an exciting retail brand identity, created by a special Australian studio, to be one of this region’s recent triumphs in brand creative and identity rollout.

Congratulations and welcome 2014′s Create Awards – Project of the year — the Optus Retail Brand Identity and Campaign by RE Sydney.”

Thanks to Andrew and everyone at Create Awards.

“The proof is in the organic pinto”

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Our Strategy Director Benjamin Harrison was featured on mUmbrella today discussing the uncomfortable truths of brand purpose. The article talks about the buzz marketing word of 2014 and how a purpose can be articulated but not invented. Ben looks at American fast food chain Chipotle as the poster child of purpose-led brands and argues this isn’t something something every brand can replicate.

You can read the article here. 

ISTD Awards

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Last week we were pleased to hear that three of our projects picked up Certificates of Excellence by ISTD. The triennially awards gave gongs to IAG Reconcilliation Plan, The Floating Eye Shanghai Biennale brochure and AGDA 2014 calendar.

Founded in 1928 the International Society of Typographic Designers is notoriously difficult to be recognised by hence why we are muchos pleased with the news.

Thanks to ISTD and congratulations to all the other winners.

 

FNL #1

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Thanks for the opening gif Bees & Bombs.

For the last two years here at RE we’ve gathered together as a team every Friday to celebrate another week of existence.

This revered gathering is called ‘Friday Night Lights’ (due partly to the cult-classic american football movie, and partly to an intern mis-hearing his Creative Director say ‘Friday Night Likes’).

For better or worse, the name stuck.

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But the purpose of this post isn’t to discuss the name – despite being so much better than ‘Friday Night Likes’ – the purpose of this post is to discuss its purpose.

It was created as a forum to share things:

  • Things in branding
  • Things in design
  • Things we’ve done/things we’d like to have done
  • Things we’ve seen/things we’d like to have seen
  • Things that inspired us/things that entertained us.

It’s a big part of our studio culture. We have a lot of fun sharing with each other and thought it was high time we let it run free into the world. So to kick things off, and avoid writing more than anyone is likely to read on a Friday, here’s FNL #1.

 

Something we’d like to have seen:

The London Design Festival

Firstly, the gorgeous festival branding by Domenic Lippa and his team at Pentagram.

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This chair designed by sketching in 3D space, and translating the result into 3D printed ceramic by Front.

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And this rotating, constantly printing, patterned light disc by Felix de Pass (that we’d probably still be staring at right now).

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(images courtesy Core77 and Pentagram)

 

Something that makes us want to spend money:

This complete reprint of the New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual – funded by a Kickstarter project – makes us want to spend our money.

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Something that inspired us this week

We felt a bit like Neil de Grasse Tyson when we saw the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Awards 2014, check them out here.

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It’s Friday, have a good weekend!

The team.

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Sum of its parts

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We’re excited to reveal our latest piece of work for the pioneers of digital architecture – Ridley. Ridley is an Australian firm at the forefront of some of the biggest developments in the architecture and construction industry. They act as a central hub for architects, builders and developers. Their job is to make sure everything comes together just so.

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Historically an architectural documentation specialist, Ridley has pioneered the use of Virtual Design Construction, the digital revolution that is reshaping the industry. By attaching live data to every part of a 3D model, they’re able to gain an overview of the entire building process from start to finish. This drives massive cost and time savings.

The identity plays on this idea of seeing the bigger picture, using individual elements, partial views and cropping to create the whole. The use of human-centric data helps everyone who engages with the brand better understand the company, projects and the people who work there.

We think it came together pretty nicely.

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Check it out on Behance.